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Old 07-28-2012, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
4,899 posts, read 3,529,369 times
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The Acadians fled persecution in 1785 by venturing way north into the wilderness of the upper St. John River valley. They knew the Brits wouldn't follow them (especially above the huge falls at Grand Falls). This was an amazing accomplishment, and it successfully preserved their independence and culture.
There were no other settlers within 200 miles, which in today's travel terms would be analagous to settling 1,000 miles removed from civilization).
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,472 posts, read 2,613,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_mariner View Post
I have checked out the university website. I can understand alot of French being spoken at UM Ft. Kent. It's in Northern Maine and 62 percent of the population speaks French. However, public school instruction is in English, and if the website is any indicator, instruction at UofM Ft. Kent is also in English.

Personally, I would like to go up to Northern Maine and do some traveling, and exploring there. I took three years of French in high school, and 5 semesters of French in college(and I graduate from college in 5 days).
Just a funny story. When I was attending the University of Maine in Presque Isle (UMPI), we used to play the U. of Maine in Fort Kent in many sports. Their players would run up and down the soccer field yelling to each other in French. Fortunately, many people at UMPI also spoke French and were quick to deride them in French. The same with the fans, but since I spoke no French it was fine lol.

BTW, courses have always (at least for the last 50 years) been taught in English in the valley. Even public schools discouraged the use of French while at school.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:13 PM
 
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years ago, I met a third grade teacher that taught at presque isle -for 30 years- I asked her the language question- it was a strong position of the school, to teach english- and very much discouraged speaking french at all- one of the reasons they were so strict on speaking english is because when they got out of high school and had to interview for jobs away from A. county - thier dialect wouldnt be a strike against them (if they werent fluid in english)
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:32 PM
 
44,662 posts, read 43,162,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bangorme View Post
Just a funny story. When I was attending the University of Maine in Presque Isle (UMPI), we used to play the U. of Maine in Fort Kent in many sports. Their players would run up and down the soccer field yelling to each other in French. Fortunately, many people at UMPI also spoke French and were quick to deride them in French. The same with the fans, but since I spoke no French it was fine lol.

BTW, courses have always (at least for the last 50 years) been taught in English in the valley. Even public schools discouraged the use of French while at school.
I've never heard anything like that before(about the soccer players). Then again, I live in Georgia.

I know about French being discouraged. I watched a documentary a few years ago about Lewiston,Maine and the Somali refugees. One man mentioned that when he was growing up, he remembered when parents of French-Canadian descent wouldn't teach their children French because they didn't want anyone to called their children anti-French epithets.
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:30 AM
 
17,175 posts, read 22,205,059 times
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In my early years, I remember livin on sand hill in augusta- huge french area, mills nearby on the kennebec river- being kids we'd venture out after church on sunday, and walking down the street, we always seem to get yelled at in french, by the home owners if they were outside, the french speaking friends (kids) - would interpret what they were saying-some were telling us to go home, stay out of mischief, while others were nicer, asking if we wanted some water/kool-aid......not knowing a word they were saying, it all sounded like they were screaming at us,...that was my education in language barriers
so, I always took the time to help the french kids with english...whenever I could..

close to 30 yrs ago, Im working in Lewiston, at a Hannaford (shopnsave)- again huge concentration of french
and the old memeres'(meme's)? (pronounced memays)
would come at me straight on full french......by this age, I knew some french words....but far from understanding the language....I'd say hold on...and get a co-worker fluid in french.....and then she'd start talking english, just to see my reaction and get a laugh...

back in that store, 90 % of the dialect of the customers that knew each other at the store was in french


the french ladies that worked at the store seem to be strict catholics, very hard work ethic, very frugal, and very proud-thats the french culture I remember most in my early yrs.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,045 posts, read 18,276,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bangorme View Post
Just a funny story. When I was attending the University of Maine in Presque Isle (UMPI), we used to play the U. of Maine in Fort Kent in many sports. Their players would run up and down the soccer field yelling to each other in French. Fortunately, many people at UMPI also spoke French and were quick to deride them in French. The same with the fans, but since I spoke no French it was fine lol.

BTW, courses have always (at least for the last 50 years) been taught in English in the valley. Even public schools discouraged the use of French while at school.
That's interesting. Here in Mass. when I was in grade school and high school in the 50s-60s we were required to take one of three languages all the way through, and I chose French. I'm sure it's not the Canadian French but I found it an easy and pleasurable language to learn. A lot has stayed with me even though as an adult I never had occasion to use it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA/Dover-Foxcroft, ME
1,808 posts, read 2,894,293 times
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One of my sisters took french in high school in the 60's and I never did. She never gives up the opportunity to tell me how to pronounce a french word or name but never without that little smirk that I'd like to just wipe off that face because I know what she's thinking that I should have taken french in high school in the 60's instead of that stupid business course that I took. Ok, I had to get that off my chest. So sorry.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
3,098 posts, read 5,431,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMoore007 View Post
One of my sisters took french in high school in the 60's and I never did. She never gives up the opportunity to tell me how to pronounce a french word or name but never without that little smirk that I'd like to just wipe off that face because I know what she's thinking that I should have taken french in high school in the 60's instead of that stupid business course that I took. Ok, I had to get that off my chest. So sorry.
Seems like you're pretty much over it now....
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA/Dover-Foxcroft, ME
1,808 posts, read 2,894,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinB View Post
Seems like you're pretty much over it now....
jamais
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:39 PM
 
Location: NW Maine and Quebec
16 posts, read 17,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I'm studying the Maine map and realizing how close, as the crow flies, Maine is to Canada specifically Quebec City. I have a Montreal background.

1. What's the shortest way to get from any point in mid-Maine to QC? Any major roads through the mtns of Western Maine, and if so, what do you come out on on the Canadian side - more mtns?

2. Is there a large French cultural influence in Maine, esp Northern Maine? The name Presque Isle is French, are there many French folks living there?

3. Do Mainers often go over the boarder into Canada? and typically where? Is there a good social exchange between French Canadians and Mainers?

4. Do you need a passport or will some kind of ID suffice?

Thanks for any interesting comments ~
1 Quebec City is the only large city reasonably accessible to residents of northern and northwestern Maine, so there is a connection. Many of my friends and myself drive there several times each summer to attend the huge outdoor concerts they have every year, it's sorta like Woodstock lol.

2 Yes there is, a majority of the residents of Aroostook County have French-Canadian roots and those living in border areas across French-speaking towns in New Brunswick and Quebec often still speak French on a daily basis, even the young generations. You will encounter this especially in places like Van Buren, Madawaska and Fort Kent. This is in sharp contrast with the large number of people bearing French-Canadian names living in southern New England, who do not speak French anymore.

3 Mainers who live on the border often have close relatives on the other side, so crossing the border is routine. This is especially true when you have towns facing each other over the lines, such as Madawaska vs Edmundston, NB

4 You need a passport card. Unfortunately unlike most border states and most Canadian provinces, Maine drivers licenses are not approved ID to enter Canada. But if you live in, say, New York then you do not need a passport. I find this quite frustrating considering that Maine's economy depends heavily on trade with Canada. Consider this: if you live in Quebec your drivers license allows you to enter Maine without a passport, but the opposite is not true. Makes little sense. Anyway personally I think the passport requirement should be revoked by both countries. This was supposedly implemented to prevent terrorists from entering the US through Canada, because it is relatively easy to slip across the border without going through Customs. This may be true but it's irrelevant because Canada's immigration laws are much tougher than ours and they actually enforce them, imagine that. The mere fact that Canadian Immigration raises the slightest doubt on someone from overseas at the port of entry is enough to land this someone on a US watch list. Terrorists, knowing about this, choose a different route.
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